GRAPHIC BY DEVYN KELLY
By ALEX CASTRO
The only thing that’s falling is this movie’s rating.
On Aug. 25, Angel Has Fallen was released to the big screen. As the third installment in the “Fallen” franchise, this film follows Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen, both of which have similar flaws and successes. In total, the series received very low scores on both IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, which was mainly caused by over-complex plots and underwhelming computer generated imagery. In the newest addition to the “Fallen” series, the President of the United States (Morgan Freeman) and his secret service agents are attacked during a fishing trip, landing the President in a coma and placing the blame on protagonist Mike Banning (Gerard Butler). Now, Banning must operate outside the law, and find a way to clear his name in order to stop who is really behind the attacks.
Ultimately, from the complete lack of attention to detail to the overabundance of plot, setting errors led to an unpleasant viewing experience that lacked emotion and individuality.
Unfortunately, when the thriller Angel Has Fallen was created, it sacrificed realism for sensationalism. Multiple elements of the film do not hold up when held to scrutiny, including the science behind much of the plot, and the motivations of many of the character’s actions.
For example, one of the main errors in the film was the completely nonchalant and casual attitude the secret service has when concerning the president. Security issues were used as a simple and convenient plot device and reused several times to further the plot. The inclusion of repetitive plot tools cheapens the emotional value of plot twists and character developments.
Furthermore, an abundance of plot holes and inconsistencies resulted in an entirely underwhelming plot. This made the movie feel incomplete, as if the audience was meant to be clued in on important details that were not revealed.
More than this, Angel Has Fallen relied heavily on irrelevant and cliche character development. For example, the film has many opportunities to incorporate an added layer of depth and complexity, yet only explores these options briefly. In essence, the creators mainly condense these scenes in order to allow time for the monotonous action sequences. Subsequently, many of the predictable plot twists are further undercut by a lack of emotional attachment, which makes it difficult for pure audience captivity.
Furthermore, the inexpensive production value heavily aided in the thriller’s downfall. Needless to say, this movie is more of a box office cash grab than an actual, legitimate feature. We see this through the film’s low budget, which was only 40 million US dollars, low compared to Olympus has fallen, which had a total budget of 70 million US dollars, an almost 150% increase. As we can see, this unambitious effort in production resulted in the film’s failure to establish a convincing in-depth setting and reliable plot.
Additionally, a large area that contributed to the movie’s inadequacy is its basic set designs and visually unappealing digital effects. Many of the scenes are rendered badly or utilize minimal effects, and horrible blending and crowded sets to distract from the action of the film. The set design is minimal, including but not fully utilizing landscapes and buildings to add depth to the setting.. In addition, the sets of the film are also undetailed, making them feel rushed or incomplete. This makes the audience disengaged with the film, resulting in a lack of empathy. All in all, the sets fail to establish a distinct setting, giving viewers a sense of perspective which feels almost entirely removed.
Another flaw in the film is the inconsistencies with language, primarily foul language. Towards the middle of the film, the movie became determined to utilize their R rating. To achieve that, it introduced an excessive amount of profane language within a small time frame. This also clashes with the minimal explicit language in the other areas of the film, which displays its inability to establish consistency.
Yet, despite all of the film’s flaws, one of the movie’s saving graces was its raw, genuine acting. The experience and skill of Morgan Freeman and Gerard Butler shone through in their performances, as well as the cunning portrayal by Danny Huston.
However, the main reason that these actors played a large role in the film’s limited success was the amount of screentime they received. In total, these three characters comprised the majority of the movie’s runtime, which allows these actor’s talent to be more prevalent. Over the runtime of the film, the wide range of emotions the actors display to the audience keeps them involved, and helps to elicit emotional responses.
Overall, Angel Has Fallen‘s poor writing and disappointing execution left much to be desired, resulting in a fall in its reviews.